In an unprecedented and unsettling conjuncture, the end of apartheid converged with a massive rise in global technological resources and a virtual exhaustion of cold war narratives that had defined much post-independence discourse in Africa. In its place, new questions of climate change, global warming, poverty and food security demanded the greater attention of institutions of higher education. A new constellation of technology and the human was increasingly discernable in the period after 1990 in South Africa, as elsewhere. This shift is central to CHR’s research on the Technical Becoming of the Human.
In South Africa, the transition to democracy is overwhelmingly described as a juridical achievement. Yet, the feeling that the legacies of apartheid appear insurmountable is also fast gaining ground. Often mistaken as the continuation of apartheid after its juridical and chronological end, we argue that the persistence of race might effectively be described in terms of a changed relation of the human and technology. The problematic of race that once defined the struggle against apartheid has morphed into a shift in the technological apparatus upon which vast sections of society now rest.
In contrast to being overwhelmed by techno-determinism and narratives of apocalypse, the CHR, with the help of artists associated with the former Community Arts Project and Handspring Trust of the Handspring Puppet Company established a Factory of the Arts. The Factory of the Arts is located at the Lydia William Centre for Memory in Chapel Street, District Six, with the aim to bring together established arts practitioners, students, communities (especially of those with little access to arts education) and humanities scholars in an ongoing search for a re-scripting of the meaning of the post-apartheid. Such a project is also aimed at forging international partnerships, especially with humanities scholars and artists elsewhere in Africa and beyond.
The Factory of the Arts is inspired by the precedents of the Community Arts movements of the 1970s and 1980 and the work of Handspring Puppet Company. But it is also aimed at bringing humanities research and arts practice in closer dialogue on the shifting terrain of technology that now refigures the discourse of race. Drawing from the theoretical ambitions of an aesthetic education produced through Gayatri Spivak’s notion of ‘playing’ with the epistemological inheritances that have shaped our modernity and contemporary global predicaments as well as from Stefano Harney and Fred Moten’s attitude of ‘studious play’ in jazz improvisation, the Factory of the Arts is an experiment in manufacturing an arts initiative in the humanities for artists and next generation artists, scholars and graduate students.
More about Factory of the Arts
About the Factory of the Arts
Lodged in the larger initiative of the Flagship on Critical Thought in African Humanities, and supported through the CHR at UWC, the Factory of the Ar
Convening the Factory of the Arts
Convening the Factory of the Arts The Factory of the Arts provides a platform for artists in residence to practice and create autonomously and to […]
Chumisa Fihla’s inaugural exhibition at the AVA gallery
The Centre for Humanities Research is pleased to announce the opening of artist in residence in visual arts, Chumisa Fihla’s inaugural exhibition “Legae/Kayalethu” at the AVA Gallery opening on the 26 November 2020.
CHR’s Ukwanda Puppets off to Germany
The CHR is delighted to share Ukwanda’s incredible achievements.
The Arts and Rethinking the Subject
The CHR is delighted to be participating to the thematic session “The arts and rethinking the subject” as part of the first edition of the French-South African Science and Innovation Days.
The Crime Scene
Written and directed by CHR fellow Zuko Sikhafungana, The Crime Scene is on at Theatre Arts Admin Collective in early November.
Heidi Grunebaum selected for 2019/2020 Chapbook Series
Heidi Grunebaum has been selected as one of seven manuscripts for publication in the 2019/202 Chapbook Series.
Reza Khota Quartet to play at Cape Town International Jazz Festival
CHR Artist in Residence to perform at 20th annual festival
Sexual Violence: Remembering, Representing, Resisting
Dialogue on Troubling Seasons of Hate
Jazz and the Politics of Co-Creation
On Friday 23 June, Kelley gives a presentation titled Jazz and the Politics of Co-creation. Hosted by the University of the Western Cape’s Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) […]
Olifantland – Barrydale Parade 2016
The 2016 Barrydale Puppet Parade and Performance brings you Olifantland, a multilingual visual theatre show featuring five majestic life size elephant puppets by Adrian Kohler from Handspring Puppet Company in collaboration with UKWANDA Puppet and Design Collective.
Images from Factory of the Arts
Arts Education Workshops in Puppetry, Performance and Visual Arts Arts Education workshops were conducted with 20 Grade 10 learners from Chris Hani and Luhlaza Secondary […]
Art Week Cape Town 2016
The Factory of the Arts, a satellite of the CHR at UWC will be participating in Art Week Cape Town 2016, an initiative of the […]
Jazz and the Politics of Co-Creation
On Friday 23 June, Kelley gave a presentation titled Jazz and the Politics of Co-creation.